Aced the interview, hit the target salary, pocket full of shares? Here are some vital tips for your new ‘office life’.

Office Working 101

The world of software engineering can be fun, exciting, and challenging — but it can also be humiliating, frustrating, and overwhelmingly disappointing.

It’s a rare event when an employer manages to align the stars just right for your first day — bringing a desk, chair, and computer into the same region of local spacetime is of a similar difficulty to finding a workable solutions to Einstein’s field equations where spacetime is made entirely of quark muffins and neutrino unicorns.

You’re a software engineer, you’re at an interview, what telltale signs should you be looking for that may indicate a questionable employer?

1. No interview room has been booked in advance

Companies are in business and they survive (usually) by making money. Well, if they’re not ‘disruptive’ startups, quangos, or a department of the civil service, but hey I digress.

Making money is generally associated with having at least a modicum of organisation and an offshoot of this is being able to furnish the interview process with a room in which to hold meetings.

I’ve been there. Admitted to a building, met the interviewer in a busy corridor, been led on an impromptu tour of said building looking for a vacant meeting room. Booking failure mode engaged.

Whilst this failure could…

If we assume that consciousness arises as a natural consequence of complexity, then true conscious AI may already be in existence.

Since electronic technology came into existence progress has been both rapid and substantial. From the early days of huge computing machines occupying whole warehouses, requiring continual maintenance, generating enormous amounts of heat, and guzzling vast amounts of power — we now have pocket sized what are effectively supercomputers running on just a trickle of energy.

Computers entered the mainstream decades ago and rapidly came to fill every niche that they came across. Everything from washing laundry and air-conditioning offices…

Do we have to wait until we evolve into a state where we can rediscover the necessary technology? Will someone save us?

A Set of Simulations

You may have noticed a theme in some of my articles — that of being inside some kind of large scale simulation that appears to be startling real. So real in fact that it is utterly indistinguishable from actual reality, you wouldn’t even know that you’re in it.

I’ve considered that such a simulation may be the unavoidable ultimate state of humanity, or perhaps a choice we will make in the future.

We may indeed have chosen to…

The perennial software problem that has divided engineers for decades.

A Line in the Code

There are two types of people in the world of software engineering¹ when it comes to a legacy product- those that are prepared to rewrite and those that are not.

Sometimes people, usually managers in this case, just want to hang on until the dear end come what may and keep on patching away until they are left with the software equivalent of the Ship of Theseus.

Let’s talk, briefly I hope, about the common pros and cons of a rewrite and understand why a ‘progressive rewrite’ is never a…

Another exposed metal object on the software job searching minefield.

LinkedIn, It’s a Banger

I’d like to say I have an on-off love affair with LinkedIn, but it’s more like owning an old banger of a car you can’t realistically get rid of. Let’s go with the analogy that it gets you to the shops for food, mostly, but you have to put up with the continuous clanking, oil patch on your driveway, and endless expensive repair bills.

And, as a result, you get a headache just by looking at it.

These days it’s likely, especially if you’re in the software game like me…

Togs aren’t just a feel warm factor, they’re a well defined unit of how well you’re not losing valuable sleepy time heat.

Never Judge A Duvet By Its Cover

When you’re buying accoutrements for your boudoir, especially those that you’re planning on keeping you warm on a cool night (or cold, if you’re frugal with the central heating like myself), it’s best not to judge on appearances only. They’re not books, after all.

Buying the wrong duvet can be extremely disappointing as if you’re losing heat too fast to the bedroom you’ll be chilly and if you’re not losing it fast enough¹ then you’ll be all hot…

It’s not all about the free snacks, foosball tables, and funky ball pits. Really.

We live in an age where software companies are desperate to attract, and hopefully retain, genuine talent to their development teams. An age where software development has become a key factor in pretty much every high tech startup business and where new, tangible¹, ideas can generate astronomical valuations for those lucky, lucky few² with tiny collars and long technical sounding words.

Prepare your cynical brain for a yet another assault on the software industry and its nefarious hiring practices. This time, let’s think about those things that don’t involve technology, software development methodologies, or testing. Testing? Who am I kidding?

Crustless Sandwiches and Coloured Balls

If we live in a simulated reality, chances are it’s a prison.

A Trope for our Times

It’s been talked about, considered, pondered, and philosophically mused for some time. It’s even been posited as the most likely state for the universe you’re experiencing right now. And, we’re going to consider it and its ramifications for all of us once again, but from a slightly different perspective.

Are we living in a simulation right now?

I wrote an article back in 2020 theorising that the most likely future for the human race would be an existence within an all encompassing simulation and I still very much…

This is a strategy that fails not only the company but also, more importantly for you, the employee.

Why People Resign

People leave their jobs all of the time, it’s nothing new. And neither is it as frowned upon as it would be in generations past when often jobs were considered as jobs “for life” and people would say that “you’re lucky to have one and you should be grateful.”

Fortunately, the onus has changed somewhat with the happiness and fulfilment of the employee now taking more focus in the workplace. …

Dr Stuart Woolley

Worries about the future. Way too involved with software. Likes coffee, maths, and . Would prefer to be in academia. SpaceX, Twitter, and Overwatch fan.

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